Why Students Fail Mathematics In Ghana
Mathematics has been called the language of science. Mathematics is used to solve many real-world problems in industry, the physical sciences, life sciences, economics, social and human sciences, engineering, and technology.
But it’s rather unfortunate that most of our students perform poorly in mathematics in our schools, Statistics over the past years have shown that many students perform far better in other subjects during their exams than in mathematics.
The latest one has been the results from the current West African Senior School Examination (WASSCE), Only 21% of the entire student population passed in mathematics in Ghana (www.waec.com/wassce), the rest failed. This is a woeful performance.
So many factors have been attributed to this fact, however, they can all be categorized under three main areas, namely: the Teacher, the Student, and the Parent.
The entire blame for the failure of mathematics could be partly blamed on the teacher. Most of the teachers who teach mathematics are not so well-grounded in the subject of mathematics, especially at the basic level.
These are teachers who are not subject-based and therefore are not subject-biased. Most of the teachers who teach mathematics, especially at the lower level, are people who aren’t good in mathematics but have found their way there as teachers and therefore are compelled to teach the subject they disliked when they were schooling.
They, therefore, are not well vested in the methodology of teaching mathematics effectively.
The student factor is also another major contributing factor that cannot be overlooked, many children are introduced to this “monster” called mathematics in a strange way. The lazy and lackadaisical of the students toward the subject is also another contributing factor to their failure. In this generation, the influx of technology has had a terrorizing effect on our students more than good, the use of gadgets has caused most of this generation’s students to lose focus on learning.
Parents contribute to the students’ failure in mathematics to an extent, most parents dislike mathematics and therefore set the notion that mathematics is difficult, a child who grows up in a home where mum and dad have this notion will automatically dislike mathematics. Math anxiety might be passed down from generation to generation, affecting children’s math performance, according to a study published in Psychological Science.
Mathematics is a foundational course for every aspect of education and hence the need to boost its interest in students is keen. In addressing these three major causal factors, educational authorities need to get qualified tutors to teach mathematics and also train the unqualified ones to become perfect in mathematical concepts.
The students of today have so much to distract them from learning so we need to get them inspired and motivated to learn mathematics, if students are made to understand and know the importance of mathematics in life, they would be inspired and motivated to learn it.
Parents have a major role to play in getting students’ interest in mathematics, students listen mainly to two major people in their lives, parents and teachers. These two groups have a greater influence on the child because they spend most of their time with them. Parents have to talk their children up and encourage them in mathematics, they have to also provide materials that will enhance their study of mathematics. If students are provided with adequate tools and the needed motivation they will make tremendous progress.